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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 217-222

Self-medication practices among female students of higher educational institutions in Selangor, Malaysia: A quantitative insight


1 Department of Pharmacy Practice, Kulliyyah of Pharmacy, International Islamic University , Kuantan Campus, Pahang 25200, Malaysia
2 Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, International Medical University, Cheras-56000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSI University, Cheras-56000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Akram Ahmad
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSI University, Cheras-56000, Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0975-7406.172662

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Background: World Health Organization has defined self-medication as the selection and use of medications (including herbal and traditional product) by individuals to treat self-recognized illnesses or symptoms. The prevalence of self-medication is reported to be higher among female students. Objective: To investigate the awareness and self-medication practices among female students of higher education institutions in Malaysia. Method: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted in four higher education institutes of Selangor, Malaysia. Convenience sampling approach was used to collect data from a sample 475 students. A “pretested” questionnaire was used as a study instrument. Results: A total of 461 questionnaires were returned (response rate 97.05%). The prevalence of self-medication among female students in higher educational institutions was 57.2% (n = 262). The most common source of self-prescribed medicine was a pharmacy or clinics (n = 206; 45%). It was found that antipyretics were the most common medications used without doctor's consultation (n = 212; 89.1%). Analgesics and antipyretics (n = 79; 62.7%) were highly recommended by students to their family and friends. The common reason for self-medication was prior successful experience (n = 102, 81.0%). The majority of respondents (n = 280; 61.1%) reported that they believed over-the-counter medications were as effective as medications prescribed by a doctor. Conclusion: The prevalence of self-medication practice among female students in the sample of the four higher education institutions was moderate. More studies are required to generalize these findings across Malaysia.


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